This week we explored different textures. We sprayed watercolor on crinkly paper, painted on slick plastic and taped and drew on bumpy (and very sparkly) paper.
We also explored printmaking with tubes and cork on cardstock and really loved the bubble effect the tubes created!
We built with blocks and tubes and had a ball playing with bouncy balls on a large ramp outside of the classroom.
This week was about exploring common items in creative ways.
We drew on boxes and cardboard and had a table dedicated to tape. The children loved playing with the different colors, sizes and stickiness of our many tape rolls. They also explored taping different types and textures of fabrics and sometimes just had fun seeing how long the tape could get.
On the easels, we switched from dark paint on light paper to light paint on dark paper for a different contrast.
We had a table to explore cutting many different types of paper and ribbon.
Our tubes, boxes and balls provided numerous ways to create slides, pathways and tunnels and explore motion.
We welcomed new and returning friends to playgroup this week!
We will gather around clay each time we meet. It's nice for children to encounter a familiar activity upon arrival. They feel confident to enter playgroup, explore the material and use it in new ways.
During UpCycle's Materials Playgroups we set up experiences to make children think and make connections between experiences and various materials.
We have been noticing the children's strong interest in balls and rolling them down tubes and gutter pieces. We invited the children to experience clay and the tubes in a new way. We connected these two activities! This prompted delight with the children as they immediately understood the connection. They tested small and large clay balls, flattened balls and lumpy balls. Some went fast, others slow. And guess what! Rubber balls bounce; clay balls do not! It is exciting to watch children create new understandings and connections by joining what they see and experience with previous understandings.
At the easel we continued the "round" idea. The children painted the round shapes of apple box dividers.
The teachers, caretakers and parents in the class are partners with the children-thinking in new ways. It's all about connecting!
Your children are problem solvers! They are natural scientists investigating and observing with keen eyes. They are actively engaged in figuring out how things work or fit.
During Playgroup, you and your child have uninterrupted time together to make discoveries. You are also able to gently guide new skills.
Times when we can give our undivided attention to our children are invaluable. Children learn not only that they are important and loved by you but that they are capable and fun to be around!
Helping your child's growing self-confidence and self esteem will help them to build loving and supportive relationships all their lives.
Engaging children in conversation as they work affirms their efforts and natural curiosity.
Describe what you notice them doing:
" I see you made a long green line."
" I see your brush going round and round, like circles."
" You pushed so many straws into the clay!"
Comments that describe what a child is doing encourages them to work longer and think more deeply about what they are doing. The child is being affirmed for his or her exploration and risk taking.
Like any good thing, don't overdo it! When children (and adults) are working intently, sometimes words are interruptions.
We are looking forward to seeing all of you this week!
At playgroup this week we offered several activity centers and materials to investigate. One mom commented that she liked how everything in the room was a "yes" for her son. At home he is interested in his older brother's toys and is often steered away. At UpCycle, we plan activities that are just right for our playgroup participants.
The children manipulated clay upon arrival. Gathering together on the floor around hunks of clay, children became acquainted with the properties of this elemental substance. It's all about action! We poked, pinched, pounded, and rolled the clay.
An activity we call "dip and stick" is a great way for children to begin understanding the possibilities of glue. This week the children dipped corks and green tops and pressed them on a vertical board. The children watched the corks sliding down the board--an encounter with gravity!
Each week we set up a sensory experience to include filling and dumping, tactile and sound experiences. We also provide regular painting and gross motor explorations.
Children can move between activities freely, staying engaged as long as they like. It is a lovely time for parents and caregivers to discover and explore together without distraction! If you are not enrolled - please come and join us!
On Sunday, July 24, Kevin Bacon delivered bottle caps from Port City Brewing Company to UpCycle. Kevin's organization SixDegrees.org uses everyday activities to connect celebrities and causes like ours. Thanks, Kevin, for raising awareness about how UpCycle connects creativity and conservation through reuse art!
This week, our preschoolers are using boxes to explore and create at UpCycle. Inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell and Robert Rauschenberg, we will provide experiences that build to the creation of several pieces of artwork. We invite families to an art show at the end of the week to see all of the work created during our time together (Friday at 12:45 pm).
Today, we gathered around clay. This is an exploratory and social experience that helps us get to know one another and share ideas.
In our small groups, we talked about creative reuse and arranged boxes on previously used canvases. Then we added texture to the canvases with tissue paper and watered down glue. We will continue to work on this piece throughout the week.
In another small group experience, we explored building up with cardboard and cork. We tried to dip and stick our materials so that the cardboard would stand up. We found many solutions to this challenge and several incorporated friends' ideas in their work.
We look forward tomorrow!
--Kelley & Susan